SOCIAL NETWORK : Hi5.com for fun!

Hi5 crews talk about Google's OpenSocial.


Hi5 social network research :

With more than 60 million registered users, Hi5 is one of the biggest social networking sites in the world among Facebook and Myspace. It was launched in 2004 by a San Francisco based company. One of the advantages of hi5 over the other giant social networking sites is the multi languages, since the large portion of its audience is international and non-English speaking based. In addition, it is the no. 1 social networking site for the Spanish speaking users. With free sign up, the users can enjoy the interaction with their friends and family or even make new friends within no time in the fun environment. Hi5 is the ‘traditional’ base social networking site similar to Myspace and Friendsters, in comparison with Facebook. It have most of basic social elements from forums, groups, chat rooms, photo albums, music and videos.

Similar to other social networking site, hi5 is used for getting in touch with friends, share your life experience with others through photographs, video and music, joining group of discussion or forums and great place to organize the social gathering. Although, the features are standard to other social networking sites, each of them have their unique cultures. Facebook for example, has a more community feel, simple interaface and easy to use which is perfect for keeping in touch with close friends aboard in personal level. Myspace on other hand is indeed exciting, full of online activities, blogging, forums, it is the gathering place for persons to companies to politicians to celebrities in the large global scale. It is also over commercialized sometime, with overwhelming adverting banners and product promotion comment virus. People use Myspace for new social connection, promote their works, orgnise events and party, expected to reach the wider audiences.

Hi5 is attempting to be on the personal side while encouraging the online interaction and networking. With its low privacy level in comparison to Facebook, the users can easily view anyone profiles, leave comments and give them 5s without friend’s restriction. ----

As the hi5 creators are aware of their major international users, they have constantly enhanced the multi-languages features. Today, hi5 has 10 foreign languages supports from Spanish to Turkish, and future promises for Asian languages such as Thai and Chinese. Hi5 also provide the language Forum, for the users to discuss hi5 internationalization, localization, translation and language issues.

After raising $20 million dollar funding in July this year(2007), hi5 has taken a step further to put itself in the hot seat in competition with Myspace and Facebook by joining Google’s new OpenSocial platform. Although Hi5 has made the tight relationship with company such as Slide and RockYou to produce quality widgets, OpenSocial is expected to greatly expand its widget systems. It also enable the new opportunities for new developers to create powerful applications that could easily run on multi social network sites (as OpenSocial’s partners, Orkut, Friendsters, Ning etc.) On the other side, hi5 users can benefit from the new media applications such as ‘ilike’ that tracks your favorite music online, Slide’s Funwall allow multimedia interaction with graffiti and photo, and Flixter’s movie sharing application. In addition, the more development will also devote to international language system that help hi5 to be more localized.

An recent example of hi5’s attempt to be localized with the international audience, is the company’s joint venture with Topspace from Thailand. As hi5 is now the top social networking site in Thailand, Topspace will handle all the hi5’s media advertising for Thai market. This would mean hi5 is now speaking in Thai, and becoming closer friend to its audience.

Hi5 Networking Observation

Hi5 is an online social network based on triditional social networking site like Myspace but the recent cleaner interface give the more personal feel to the site similar to Facebook.
1) Easy Extension of friendship right in your home page
Many tempting features such as : Friend suggestions, Friends update, Friends of friends, Friends requests, Profile visitors. You are just a click away from those beautiful people.

2) Photo driven society
Friends update display mostly pictures of strangers. It is indeed easy to just click their nice picture and view their profiles. The hi5 users are more careful to put the profile pictures and well as the self promotion pictures in their albums. Many widgets are created to support photo mania such as slideshow etc.

3) Who are the big brother?
One of hi5 cool function is profile visitor tab from last 30 days. You could take it as the rating database, find out who r those people and sneak in to look at their profile. It is another way to trace back big brother and somehow create more interaction between strangers.

4) Its all about adding friends

Due to its low level of privacy, it makes life much easier to get connected with friends as well as strangers.

Friends Request feature will always remain you when ever you return to your home page. Vice versa, adding a new friends seem less restricted with just click on 'Add freind button' and the request is send to that users. However, the users still need to approve your new friendship first. It is interesting to see who many strangers want to be your friends everyday.

5) Group
You can search for more than 100,000+ groups from the directories or you can create one for your own.

Group and discussion in hi5 is not so lively as in Myspace and Facebook.

6) Widgets : personal enhancements

7) Scrapbook features


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